Elven Legacy: Ranger PC
Published by: 1C Company
Developed by: 1C: Ino-Co.
Earlier this year we had a look at Elven Legacy, a fantasy turn-based strategy game, and on the whole we found it to be an enjoyable game. Some elements of the game could have been better however. The storyline wasn't as interesting as it could have been and the game suffered from a rather rough translation into English. That said, these flaws could easily be overlooked for fans of the genre especially when you consider that the game got the essential parts right. The AI was challenging and the battle system and RPG elements were solid. It's by no means a bad thing then that here we have an expansion in the form of Elven Legacy: Ranger.
Priced at just under £8, Elven Legacy: Ranger represents good value for money with a brand new, sixteen-mission campaign, three new hero units, five new artefacts and twelve new spells. The campaign, set in the world of Illis, is what most will be interested in however and it's based around a character called Cornelius, a ranger equipped with a holy spear, who is in the service of the once exiled Order of Ticsus. At the beginning of the campaign you'll get the choice of either starting your travels in Sylent or on the Coast of Derenhalle. The purpose of Cornelius' journey is to search for a location that the Order of Ticsus can use as their new base. It's far from being an easy journey however and many enemies lie in wait for Cornelius.
If you enjoyed what Elven Legacy had to offer it's highly likely that you'll enjoy Ranger. The game still has challenging missions for you to overcome and even on the easiest of the three difficulty settings, it's far from being a doddle at times. This is due to the fact that the enemy likes to outnumber you and at times this can feel unfair. The combat system remains the same although new spells, artefacts and hero units (Captain Lucius, Alberte and of course Cornelius) certainly freshen things up a little. The story is even more coherent this time around and the quality of the English translation is certainly better here than it was in the original game. Some new single mission maps would have been nice but sadly there aren't any to be had.
One of the key differences in Ranger is that there are no cut scenes. In the original Elven Legacy the cut scenes were not subtitled. In fact, all of the dialogue in Ranger is text only. The only problem is with the game's tutorials which are exactly the same as they were in Elven Legacy. The tutorials are voiced and a significant portion of them is not subtitled reducing their usefulness to deaf gamers. The main game itself won't cause any problems however. The dialogue is accompanied by character portraits (for the main characters) and names so you'll be aware of who is speaking. Briefings and objectives are shown in text and can be recalled at any time. You're notified of how many turns you have left to win specific awards. Text and numbers will also inform you of unit damage and status during battles. In fact, tutorials aside, Ranger won't cause deaf gamers any problems.
Elven Legacy: Ranger is an expansion that will please those who appreciated what Elven Legacy had to offer. You're getting a substantial new campaign which along with other additions is well worth the asking price. That said, it's a shame that no new single mission maps have been added. The difficulty of the missions can be frustrating at times, particularly as the AI likes to outnumber your units whenever possible, and this can be annoying. Still there's a lot to like here for fans of Elven Legacy. Elven Legacy: Ranger is the first of three expansions and if this is anything to go by, the other two will be well worth waiting for.